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Plan for monthly junior doctors' strikes draws criticism

Junior doctors in England are to hold monthly strike action for the remainder of 2016, the British Medical Association has announced.

Here are the key developments:

  • The action will take place from 8am to 5pm between September 12 and 16, October 5 and 11, November 14 and 18, and December 5 and 9
  • The strikes are an 'unforgivable' betrayal of those needing care, the head of the Patients Association has said
  • Senior doctors have urged their junior colleagues to call off the strikes
  • Prime Minister Theresa May accused the BMA of 'playing politics', while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said doctors were being 'very confrontational'
  • The BMA said it will call off industrial action if the Government agrees not to impose the new contracts
  • Six strikes have already taken place across England during the dispute
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Jeremy Hunt slams 'perplexing and disappointing' strike

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the forthcoming strike by junior doctors is both "perplexing and disappointing".

Speaking to Good Morning Britain on Thursday, he said: "It's devastating news for many people. It's going to cause a lot of misery for a lot of people.

"Our one promise was that we wanted a proper seven-day service, so [people] can be confident no matter what day of the week they're admitted to hospital, they're going to get the same high quality care.

"We have an honest difference of opinion with them about how to deliver that seven-day service, but the way to resolve that difference is to sit around the table and talk.

"It's cooperation and dialogue, not confrontation and strikes... I thought we were making progress, and that's why I find it so perplexing and disappointing to see that we're going to have to deal with this huge strike."

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